The Changeling, Jade City Tie for World Fantasy’s Best Novel

Congratulations to Victor LaValle, Fonda Lee, and the rest of the World Fantasy Award winners!

Congratulations to Victor LaValle, Fonda Lee, and the rest of the World Fantasy Award winners! The awards were presented during the World Fantasy convention held November 1-4, 2018, in Baltimore, MD.

Below are the winning titles in categories that LJ reviews, together with the reviews of those we covered. For the complete list of this year’s winners and categories, see

•    Winner (Tie): The Changeling by Victor LaValle (Spiegal & Grau)
•    Winner (Tie): Jade City by Fonda Lee (Orbit) 

Lee, Fonda. Jade City. Orbit: Hachette. (Green Bone Saga, Bk. 1). Nov. 2017. 600p. ISBN 9780316440868. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780316440899. FANTASY
For centuries, the Green Bone warriors defended the island of Kekon from foreign invasion by using jade to enhance their physical and mental abilities. But now the peace is disintegrating as rival families compete to control Janloon, the capital city. Heading the No Peak clan are the Kauls. Eldest son Lan leads as Pillar, but he struggles with health issues and his grandfather’s efforts to seize control; sister Shae gave up her jade when she chose another path, but she has reluctantly been brought back into the family; youngest brother Hilo wields power as the Horn but is burdened by family issues. Yet as the Mountain clan, led by the notorious Ayt family, moves onto No Peak’s territory, and the Kauls try to stop their inevitable slide into clan war, the siblings discover much more is wrong beneath the surface tensions. VERDICT Making her adult fiction debut, YA author Lee (Zeroboxer) draws on her Chinese heritage, passion for gangster stories, and strong writing to launch a Godfather-inspired fantasy series that mixes bold martial-arts action and vivid worldbuilding. The result is terrific. [Previewed in Marlene Harris’s “Galaxy Quests” sf/fantasy preview, LJ 4/15/17.]—Kristi Chadwick

•    Winner: The New Voices of Fantasy, edited by Peter S. Beagle and Jacob Weisman 

The New Voices of Fantasy. Tachyon. Aug. 2017. 336p. ed. by Peter S. Beagle & Jacob Weisman. ISBN 9781616962579. pap. $16.95; ebk. ISBN 9781616962586. FANTASY
Fantasy fiction has come to the forefront over the last decade, as new writers begin to voice their imaginative ideas. This anthology highlights 19 promising and breakthrough authors of the past five years. Max Gladstone (“Craft Sequence” series) conceives of a vampire as a father in “A Kiss with Teeth.” Nebula Award winner Amal El-Mohtar shares a story, a book, and a secret in “Wing.” Sofia Samatar (A Stranger in Olondria) writes a tale of love, loss, and life in “Selkie Stories Are for Losers.” Lesser-knowns include Ben Loory (“The Duck”) and Adam Ehrlich Sachs (“The Philosophers”). VERDICT These tales will bring joy to both new and seasoned readers of fantasy.— Kristi Chadwick 

•    Winner: The Emerald Circus by Jane Yolen (Tachyon) 

Yolen, Jane. The Emerald Circus. Tachyon. Nov. 2017. 288p. notes. ISBN 9781616962739. pap. $15.95; ebk. ISBN 9781616962753. FANTASY
Beauty sneaks out to get a Christmas gift for the Beast, the first of several wrong decisions in “The Gift of the Magicians, with Apologies to You Know Who.” In “Blown Away,” Dorothy’s twister takes her away, not to a magical land but the Emerald Circus, and she returns home as a gymnastic performer who changes many lives. Wendy leads a labor strike against the Lost Boys in “Lost Girls.” After more than a decade, Yolen (Briar Rose; Sister Emily’s Starship and Other Stories) returns with 16 stories that take readers sideways and upside down through beloved fairy tales and classic tales such as Peter Pan and The Wizard of Oz, while also reimagining the lives of famous storytellers such as Hans Christian Anderson, Edgar Allan Poe and ­Emily Dickinson. VERDICT These delightful retellings of favorite stories will captivate newcomers and fans of Yolen as she once again delivers the magic, humor, and lovely prose that has attracted readers for years.—Kristi Chadwick

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